[This is my column in the March 26 issue of The Commercial Review. Note: This may be nothing new to the normal readers of my blog — especially this week — but it wasn’t for the readers at my newspaper.]
I’ve been relatively private about some of the goings on in the last few weeks.
But I feel it’s time to shed some light on a relatively big life decision.
Have no fear; I’m not leaving the Jay County area. I have no plans of going elsewhere in the foreseeable future.
Three years ago, I did something similar to “The Biggest Loser” at a local gym in my hometown. A friend of mine had lost more than 50 pounds doing the “Body Challenge,” so I thought I would give it a shot.
If he could do it, why couldn’t I?
It was going to be fun. I had joined with a dozen or so of my friends, that way we could hold each other accountable and attend the class sessions with one another. None of us had to go at it alone, because everyone knows we are more likely to go to the gym and work out if we have someone to go with us.
Good in theory, right?
Unfortunately, my work schedule hardly aligned with that of my friends, so attending classes together quickly turned out to be quite the hassle.
Additionally, the classes, which include kickboxing, aerobics and cardio, were offered at odd times for my night-shift schedule.
More often than not, I had to wake up earlier than I would have liked to just to make it to a class.
The plan we had to work out together lasted all of a few weeks, but I manned up and deprived myself of a little sleep in order to get to the gym. I would even work out when I had gone downstate to visit the girl I was dating, squeezing in some exercise in her living room so as to not skip a day.
Eight grueling weeks later, I was down 25 pounds. I felt great. I looked great. My friends and family started to take notice.
Somehow, I fell off the wagon, so to speak.
Those “cheat days” became more and more frequent, and eventually I had become less and less strict with my dieting and my workouts.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever done the same. I know I’m not alone.
Recently, I came across a picture of myself following the body challenge, and I was in awe at how different — how much better — I looked at that time compared with what I do now.
And it was all the motivation I needed to get back on track.
So for the last few weeks I have been more conscious about what I’ve been eating, choosing to cook healthy meals rather than grab a quick bite to eat somewhere.
I’ve also discovered a home workout program developed by a former mixed martial arts fighter, and begun that as well. It’s a 12-week program, and I have since turned my living room into a home gym.
Combining that with eating right has the recipe to get me looking and feeling the way I did three years ago.
Getting back to that point, however, is not my end goal. I want to be even healthier.
As I write this, I am on day four of reaching my goal and beginning this new lifestyle — this “New Me Journey” as I’m calling it.
And it’s tough.
My legs ache and my arms are sore. Everyday tasks are becoming difficult. It’s taking me longer to shower, shave, tie my shoes and put on clothes. I feel as if I look awkward trying to get out of a chair, climb stairs or even walk.
But every slow movement, every aching muscle is worth it, because I know I am that much closer to my goal.
In May I completed the Mad Run in Fort Recovery on a severely sprained — most likely broken — ankle, and it was the most physically grueling thing I have ever done in my life.
This year’s installment of the 5K obstacle course is set for May 16. This time around, I will be in better shape with, barring any unforeseen mishaps, two good ankles. My sights are set on beating my time from last year — 59 minutes, 39 seconds — by 10 minutes. That’s a lofty target, but it’s not impossible.
Last year I ran it alone, and I won’t have any problem if I have to do it again.
From my living room workouts to the Mad Run, it’s going to be a difficult, but fun ride.
Feel free to join me on my journey. Company is always welcome.
[The following is post script.]
(Week one, day four)
Current weight: -2.0 pounds